| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 198 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
the epistles written by the apostles of the circumcision, Peter and John. They do not
describe the hope of the Body of Christ as revealed in Paul's prison letters. This church
as a heavenly company, has a heavenly hope, one that is realized in the heaven of
heavens where Christ is enthroned, and so the aspect of the Lord's return to the earth,
described in the early Thessalonian epistles, is not its hope and we must not import into
these epistles something that was going to be revealed through Paul the prisoner later on.
"Our gathering together unto Him" episunagoge. This word contains the word
`synagogue' in its make-up and occurs only once more in the N.T. namely Heb. 10: 25.
In its verbal form it occurs seven times (Matt. 23: 37; 24: 31; Mark 1: 33; 13: 27;
Luke 12: 1; 13: 34). The `gathering together' here is a reference back to I Thess. 4: 17,
the `catching away' to meet the Lord in the air. The Apostle now puts his finger upon the
causes which were misleading and upsetting some of the saints. He is concerned lest they
are `shaken in' their minds and `troubled'. Saleuo, shaken, means to agitate, to cause to
totter like a reed (Matt. 11: 7), or the earth being shaken (Heb. 12: 26). Throeomai (from
throos, clamour, tumult) means `to be in a state of nervous excitement' (A.T. Robertson).
In both cases this state of mind played into the hands of the enemy who is always trying
to undermine the peace and the confidence of the believer. `Either by spirit, or by word,
or by epistle as from us.' Here were the means Satan was using--false revelation from
evil spirits, travestying the spiritual gifts of prophecy and utterance that had been directly
given to some by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:); or a supposed `word' or remark by the
Apostle; or a spurious epistle purporting to come from him. By these means the
assertion was made that `the day of the Lord is now present' (verse 2 R.V. with the best
Greek texts). Not `the day of Christ' as A.V. but the great prophetic Lord's Day of the
O.T., a day when God will intervene in this world's affairs in judgment. The first
occurrence of this prophetic period is in Isa. 2: 12, 17, 19 (see also Isa. 13: 6-13;
Jer. 46: 10; Joel 1: 15; 2: 1, 2; 3: 14; Amos 5: 18-20). Some commentators make the
mistake of using the day of the Lord and the Second Advent of Christ as interchangeable
terms. Consequently, because Paul here definitely teaches that the day of the Lord was
not yet present and that certain prophetic events must first take place, they assert that the
Second Coming of Christ was not imminent or possible, and that the Apostle did not
teach such a thing. But he most surely did, and so did Peter, James and John in their
epistles written during this period.
"The end of all things is at hand" (I Pet. 4: 7).
"The Coming of the Lord draweth nigh . . . . . the Judge standeth before the door"
"It is the last time (literally the last hour), even now are there many antichrists,
whereby we know that it is the last time (hour)" (I John 2: 18).
To these passages must be added the following in I Corinthians, Romans, and
". . . . . so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the Coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ" (I Cor. 1: 6, 7).
". . . . . the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives be as though
they had none" (7: 29, Yet after the Acts period the Apostle urges widows to
marry--I Tim. 5: 14).